Myanmar has removed about 2,000 exiles from an immigration blacklist drawn up by the former junta to allow them to return home as part of political reforms, the authorities said on Tuesday.
“The people taken off the blacklist are civil servants who fled Myanmar a long time ago,” an information ministry official said.
“More than 6,000 former civil servants from government ministries were blacklisted. Some 2,000 were taken off today,” he said. “They can come back to the country freely. The authorities will decide later whether to remove the others.”
Several million people fled the country to escape the corrupted economy and political repression under army rule which ended last year, leaving a shortage of professionals to help manage economic and political change.
Many government workers and intellectuals left after a student-led uprising in 1988 that was brutally crushed by the military. Journalists who fled to work overseas were also blacklisted.
Since taking office last year, President Thein Sein has overseen a number of dramatic changes such as the release of hundreds of political prisoners and the election of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to parliament.
The former general – who came to power following an election marred by widespread complaints of cheating and intimidation – in May urged the millions who had fled the nation to return.